North Korea Threatens UN With War

If rhetoric could kill, the Korean Peninsula would have been strewn with corpses Wednesday, felled by fresh verbal volleys from Pyongyang warning of nuclear war.

As it was, South Korea’s military dismissed the outburst as “routine rhetoric.” But tensions between the two Koreas are dangerously high at the moment.

So high, said North Korea’s main newspaper Rodong Sinmun in a commentary, that “a minor accidental incident could trigger an all-out war and develop into a nuclear war.”

Long gone are the hopes of 2000, when North and South Korean athletes marched under one flag in the Sydney Olympics. Today, any miscalculation by either side could trigger full-scale conflict. Many nations would have treated the sinking of their warship as an act of war. South Korea has shown great restraint since an inquiry by foreign experts, including Australians, found last month that a North Korean torpedo sank the Cheonan, despite Pyongyang's denials.